Saturday, May 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Sikh intelligentsia to monitor poll
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
For the first time, in an apparent effort to bring about transparency, efficiency and quality of service in the functioning of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, the members of the Sikh intelligentsia have decided to closely monitor the general elections to the Sikh body scheduled for June.

As a step in this direction, they have decided to meet the leaders of the two main Akali factions, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, to urge them to give tickets to only those persons who have a clean image.

“We will meet the two leaders first with the request that they should select only persons with a clean image,” senior advocate and a member of the Sikh Forum, H S Phoolka, said.

He added: “As soon as both the parties release the candidates’ list, we will screen those candidates and extend our independent support only to people with fair reputation — irrespective of their party standings.’’

The Akali-exclusive DSGMC and SGPC are divided between groups loyal to Shiromani Akali Dal President Parkash Singh Badal and his bete noire Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

The Badal-controlled DSGMC recently faced charges of fund embezzlement leveled by the Tohra party. The forum, headed by Lt-Gen (retired) Jagjit Singh Aurora, was holding a discussion on the type of candidates the Akali leaders must choose for the elections to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), scheduled for next month. Senior bureaucrats, jurists, academicians and legal experts attended the meeting. Former Chief Election Commissioner Manohar Singh Gill urged the Sikhs in Delhi to jettison their ‘’subordination’’ to Sikh politics of Punjab.

‘’You are living in India’s Capital, which is a centre of education. You should act independently and give up your subordination to Punjab,’’ Dr Gill exhorted Delhi’s Sikh Forum, a grouping of Sikh scholars and professionals here at its meeting last evening.

‘’I have lost faith in both the Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee (SGPC) and the DSGMC. Believe me, whenever I visit the Golden Temple, I donate as little as possible because I do not know where the money will actually go,’’ Dr Gill said.

He praised the Sikhs of Delhi for their intellectual capabilities, saying they have both vision and influence required to work for the cause of the community’s uplift here.

“We used to read about ‘masands’ or hired superiors of gurdwaras in history. Unfortunately, the gurdwara body controllers today are worse than those people,’’ Dr Gill regretted. The forum said that it would come out with a list of issues, which the two parties must take a stand on, as they would be in the welfare of the community.

Calling upon the right-minded persons to take this opportunity to mobilise public opinion in this hour of need, the forum said the educated and forward looking persons should not merely criticise the activities of the DSGMC but act as guardians of the activities of the functionaries of the Sikh institutions. “It is not necessary for the members of the intelligentsia to be actively involved in the political process. But they can act as a watch dog on the activities of the political leaders and prick the consciousness of the members of the community,” Mr Phoolka said.



SAD(B) denies having enlisted bogus voters
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) today categorically rejected the claim of the pro-Tohra faction that the party was busy in enlisting bogus voters in the electoral rolls.

The secretary general of the SAD (Badal), Mr Kuldip Singh Bhogal, said: “The party categorically rejects the statement of SAD Delhi president, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna. He should first keep his house in order before giving false and bogus statements,” Mr Bhogal said.

The SAD secretary general said only 10,000 new names had been added to the electoral rolls after the Directorate of Gurdwara Elections started enrolling those who had attained 18 years and above, following the presidential assent to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1971.

Mr Bhogal said that as per their estimate, at least 50,000 names should have been added to the list.

On the issue of low enlisting of names in the electoral rolls, the SAD (Badal) had met the Lt-Governor, Mr Vijai Kapoor, who extended the DSGMC poll date by 15 days and directed the Delhi Government to issue notification for the general elections on May 28 for the polls to be held on June 30.

The directorate had been given time till May 27 to enlist new voters. And, Mr Bhogal said the DSGMC was only preparing the list of voters to be submitted to the directorate.

Mr Sarna in his complaint to the directorate had alleged the SAD (Badal) was enlisting bogus names in the electoral rolls in a move to postpone the polls.

In the complaint, he apprehended that the rival faction, which at present controls the DSGMC, could then move the court with the plea that new names had been added to the electoral rolls and the general elections should not be held until the voters list was verified.



1984 riot widows’ flats sealed

New Delhi, May 24
The Delhi Development Authority’s move today to seal the 100-odd flats in Vishal Enclave, West Delhi, occupied by the 1984-riot widows, evoked a strong protest from the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. The DSGMC president, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, charged that the DDA officials had sealed the flats without giving any notice to the residents. The authorities had taken this step despite assurances from the Congress-led Delhi government that the riot widows would neither be evicted nor any money charged for the flats. A large number of DSGMC officials led by Mr Avtar Singh, who rushed to the spot, broke the seal, defying the DDA orders. The government had set up resettlement colonies in different parts of the Capital after the 1984 riots. The government had then agreed that it will not ask the victims to pay for the flats. Mr Avtar Singh alleged that with the DSGMC polls around the corner, the Congress party was showing its true colours. He also blamed the rival pro-Tohra faction, Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi, for the whole episode.

“The area residents are strong supporters of the Badal faction. In a move to deny them the right to vote, the pro-Tohra faction conspired with the Congress to seal these flats,” the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) alleged, adding, “The members of the community would not tolerate such acts of political parties for petty gains.”

To voice their anger, the members of the DSGMC, along with their supporters, would demonstrate outside the residence of the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, on Saturday. TNS



8 die as field fire engulfs vehicles
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 24
Eight persons, including two women and two children, were burnt after a fire in a nearby field engulfed them near Karman border in Hodal sub-division of the town on Thursday evening. Seven victims have been identified so far.

The gory incident took place on the National Highway No 2 at about 7 pm when the fire, started in some fields by the farmers to burn the remains of the harvested wheat crop, spread to nearby areas due to the strong wind and engulfed the vehicles moving on the road.

At least six vehicles, including a wheat-aden tractor trolley, a Tata 407 truck and two three wheelers were caught in the flames. While six of them travelling on these vehicles were burnt alive, two died today. About a dozen others sustained burn injuries. It is learnt that a tractor trolley coming from Kosi Kalan side got caught in the flames. As the driver of the tractor tried to avoid the flames, his vehicle dashed into a Tata 407 truck coming from the opposite direction.

The deceased include Azad (13), his brother Aslam (12), Sitara (40), wife of Chirag, Farah (4), Roshni (2), (daughters of Chirag) and Sahid (12) and Sahrukha (8). One person could not be identified.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Arun Kumar, visited the site of the accident today. He announced a compensation of Rs 25,000 to the kin of deceased and Rs 2000 to the injured. The administration has booked one Sudhir, son of Shispal and Ram Sarup, driver of a tractor under Sections 279, 336, 337, 304-A 427 and 435 of the IPC. It is alleged that Sudhir had started the fire in his field to burn the wheat stems after harvesting it with a combine. The majority of the victims were members of one family and had been returning to Kosikalan in UP after attending a wedding party at Lariaka village in the district.

The injured were rushed to the government hospitals at Palwal and Hodal.

About 10 persons have been admitted to the hospital at Hodal. Three injured identified as Mumtaz, Jannat and a driver Amar Singh have been referred to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi. Two women have been admitted in the B.K. Civil Hospital here.



Elitist hospital reminded of its oath to serve the poor
Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, May 24
The Medical Health Department of the Haryana Government has asked the Escorts Hospital and Research Centre here to provide free outdoor treatment to the local people and reserve at least 25 per cent of the beds in the hospital for free treatment of persons covered under the scheme reframed by the authorities, as per the provisions of allotment of land.

The health department in its communication to the chief executive director of Escorts Hospital, stated that it had framed a scheme to be implemented immediately.

The scheme, prepared on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, asked the secretary, Medical Health, and director-general, Health Services, Haryana, to examine the ‘scheme’ submitted by the Escorts Hospital regarding providing free treatment and reservation of beds for the poor.

This facility had been made mandatory by the Haryana Government when it allotted over 2.75 acres on Neelam-Bata Road here for the hospital in 1987 and 1990. The hospital had been directed to provide free facilities in seven disciplines to the local residents and reserve certain percentage of beds for them.

It had also put the condition that no part of the land be utilised for industrial, commercial or residential purpose. However, there were complaints regarding the violation of terms and conditions of the allotment of land to the hospital.

A social activist, Mr Krishan Lal Gera, raised the issue through a writ petition filed by him in the High Court in 2000. Mr Gera levelled serious allegations of violation of norms by the hospital and sought cancellation of the allotment of land.

The commissioner and secretary, health department, got an enquiry conducted on the directions of the court and filed a detailed affidavit before the court, stating therein that the terms of allotment had not been complied with.

Subsequently, the Escorts Hospital management sought the permission to prepare a scheme to comply with the conditions. While the scheme was submitted before the court, the latter ordered the Haryana Government to examine the scheme.

The State government studied the scheme and reported back that it was not in consonance with the objectives of the allotment of land. So the authorities have now framed a new scheme known as “scheme for free treatment” in lieu of allotment of land to the Escorts Hospital, and stated that it would come into effect immediately.

According to it, a committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad, consisting of the Municipal Commissioner, Director of Escorts Hospital and civil surgeon, Faridabad will supervise the implementation of the scheme.

It has been stated that a person, who is resident of Faridabad district shall be entitled to free facilities at the out-patient department (OPD) in all disciplines in the hospital.

The scheme says that all the clinical investigations, including specialised X-ray, ultrasound, ECG, CT Scan, etc, be provided free of cost. Besides, all the medicines and consumable items should be provided free to a patient covered under the scheme.

It adds that the registration fee shall be Rs 5.00 once a year for the OPD patient and Rs 50.00 for the indoor patient.

The hospital would have to earmark 25 per cent of beds for free treatment of persons covered under the scheme. In addition, the hospital shall provide 10 per cent beds for the treatment of patients for the next five years, for the non-compliance of scheme till now.

It provides that the beds reserved under the scheme should not be utilised for the treatment of paid patients under any circumstance. No separate OPD or ward should be established, but treatment be provided at the main OPD. The committee will monitor the scheme and shall meet at least once a month. The conditions of allotment state that no part of the land be utilised for any other purpose, except for which it had been allotted, and the site could not be subdivided or sublet to anyone.



Capital’s high-value farmhouses slide downhill
Gaurav Choudhury
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
The sustained economic downslide and the consequent depression in demand has had its impact on the property market with the high-value farmhouses in and around the Capital bearing the brunt.

According to figures made available by global property consultants, Cushman and Wakefield, the capital value of the farmhouses in the vicinity of Delhi has fallen in the range of 30 per cent to 50 per cent since the peak of November 1997.

The farmhouses in Kapashera, DLF Chhattarpur, Ansal Satbari and Asola have witnessed the strongest devaluation with percentage change estimated to be -50 per cent. This is followed by Gadaipur (- 45 per cent), The Greens (-40 per cent), Pushpanjali (-40 per cent), Ghittorni (-40 per cent) and Westend Greens (-30 per cent).

In terms of value, on an average, an acre of land in Westend Greens is presently priced at Rs 20 crore, down from the peak-period valuation of Rs 25 crore, while in The Greens the value has come down to Rs 10 crore for an acre from a peak period price of Rs 12.5 crore. The present values of the other major farm houses are : Pushpanjali ( Rs 80 lakhs per acre), Kapashera (Rs 70 lakhs per acre), DLF Chhattarpur (Rs 80 lakhs per acre), Ansal Satbari (Rs 45 lakhs), Asola (Rs 50 lakhs), Gadaipur (Rs 70 lakhs) and Ghittorni ( Rs 50 lakhs).

Farmhouses in the vicinity of the Capital are high quality residences that are built on plots extending in size to 2.5 acres or more. Since they are built on agricultural land and must follow certain specific building regulations, they are conveniently called 'farmhouses'.

Most farmhouses in Delhi are concentrated on the outskirts in Mehrauli, Chhattarpur, Vasant Kunj and Bijwasan areas, approximately 30 km away from the central part of the Capital. They are equipped with all modern amenities such as landscaped lawns, tennis courts, swimming pools, gymnasiums, etc. The high valuations are primarily premised upon the amenities and better quality of living away from the bustle and pollution of downtown areas.

There has also been a sustained downward pressure on rental values of farmhouses with supply outstripping demand in most locations. The rental values have fallen by 40 to 50 per cent. The net effective rent of a farmhouse in Westend Greens has come down to Rs 2.75 lakhs per month presently from the peak of Rs 4 lakhs in 1997. Similarly the average per month rental of a farmhouse in The Greens has come down to Rs 1.75 lakhs from the peak period rental of Rs 2.5 lakhs.

Moreover, the demand for properties continues to be skewed with properties in Westend Greens, The Greens and DLF Chhattarpur being more sought after than areas such as Asola, Satbari, Gadaipur etc.



Rapist lynched by villagers as cops watch
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, May 24
A six-year-old girl, who had disappeared on May 22 in a dramatic manner from Meerpur Kalan village under Hafizpur police station in Hapur, was murdered after having been sexually abused. After his misdeed came to light, the villagers caught the rapist from Akroli temple, brought him to the village and beat him up so badly that he succumbed to his injuries. All this happened in the presence of the police in village Meerpur yesterday, it is learnt. In Meerpur, one Hukam Singh lived in the house of Kulwant Jatav to whom he was related. On May 22, Hukam Singh is alleged to have lured Jatav’s 6-year-old daughter out on the pretext of getting her some candy, never to return.

When the girl did not return till late, her parents became worried and started looking for her. Her dead body was found near the house of Bejinder. She had been throttled and her face had been hit with a brick. Her condition indicated that she had been sexually abused.

Next day, at about 9 in the morning, Hukum Singh was seen in the Akroli temple. The villagers surrounded him and brought him to Meerpur. Though he tried to escape, he was pinned down and beaten in the main square of the village.

Eventually, he confessed to his crime. Another small girl also told the villagers that once he had tried to lure her also with the promise of sugarcane and sweet meat. At this, the villagers were incensed and beat him up till he was dead.

Teenager raped at gun point

In another incident, a Dalit girl in her teens was raped allegedly at gunpoint in Gahlab village of Hathin sub-division recently. According to a complaint lodged with the police, a youth identified as Ramvir, living in the neighbourhood of the victim, entered the compound of the house at about 2 a.m. and raped the 15-year-old girl sleeping in the compound at gun point.



GNIDA has seen 3 CEOs in 20 days
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 24
Ever since Ms Mayawati took over the reins in the state, a large number of IAS and IPS officers are finding that they are on a virtual merry-go-round. Nowhere else has the impact been felt more than in the Greater Noida Authority which has seen three chief executive officers join it in quick succession, only to be transferred out.

In fact, the GNIDA has set a record of sorts as three chief executive officers have been moved out in just over 20 days. A fortnight back, Dr Om Prakash was posted as the chief executive officer in the GNIDA. He was transferred on Wednesday and has been replaced by Mr Lalit Srivastava, who was until recently the Principal Secretary, Revenue. It may be recalled that Mr Brijesh Kumar had spent over four years as the CEO of the GNIDA during which period he had done commendable work and developed the Greater Noida area in all aspects with the result that it has carved a niche for itself even internationally. When Mr Brijesh Kumar was sent on deputation to the Government of India on April 30, the state government had asked the Additional CEO, Mr P. Umashankar, to take over the functions of the CEO of the GNIDA.

On May 7, Dr Om Prakash Singh took over from Mr Umashankar. Then, Dr Om Prakash was transferred within 15 days back to Lucknow. Interestingly, Mr Umashankar has also been posted out of the GNIDA.

Mr Lalit Srivastava, who has taken over from Dr Om Prakash, had worked as the CEO of the Noida Authority for about a week. Now, both the Noida Authority and GNIDA have a full-fledged CEO-cum-Chairman but how long they will remain in their respective posts is to be seen.



Metro rail to cover entire NCR by 2021
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) on Thursday announced its plan to extend the Metro Rail infrastructure in the Capital by 50 km by 2010.

The DMRC is currently implementing the first phase of 62.8-km railway system which will be completed by 2005 with the first section of 8.3-km section between Shahdara and Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) scheduled to start by December this year. With the completion of the second phase, the Delhi Metro would cover a distance of 113 km.

Announcing this at a news conference after carrying out an inspection of various construction sites, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the Government of NCT of Delhi had approved the Connaught Place-Dwarka section to be constructed as part of the first phase.

The proposal had been referred to the Union Cabinet and the approval was expected within a month.

Ms Dikshit said the plan to expand Delhi Metro to the whole of National Capital Region (NCR), which comprises certain areas of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, by 2021 was also being thought of to ease the population concentration in the Capital.
If approved, the Delhi Metro would cover a distance of
198.5 km.

“Metro Rail,” she said, “is a role model and a milestone in the transportation sector. The work culture, efficiency of work and the speed with which it is being carried out without causing any inconvenience is an example for all of us to follow.”

Considering the progress of work, the section between ISBT and Shahdara could be completed well before the stipulated timeframe of December, she said adding that more than 20 lakh passengers per day would travel by Delhi Metro once the first phase was completed.



This man stands by others through fire and water
Nalini Ranjan

Noida, May 24
For Amar Kumar Aggarwal, in charge of the Noida fire brigade unit, every day is a challenge as the city has grown tremendously with high-rise buildings and commercial complexes but the fire-fighting infrastructure has remained static over the last two decades. Before going to office, he prays to God that nothing serious should happen to jeopardise the life and property of the residents.

But the staff and the residents in general, particularly those who know him, have tremendous faith in this fire officer. After all, he was a bundle of energy even in the searing mid-day sun, directing his staff and fire tenders when a major fire had devastated a sprawling jhuggi complex in the area last month. If it had not been for him, the toll in the blaze would have been higher, say many grateful residents.

Amar, as he is popularly called by all, still recalls the events of 1996 vividly which exposed the lack of facilities of the fire department of the hi-tech city. Ammonia gas had leaked from one of the tankers in the huge complex of the Hindustan Referigeration Ltd in Sector 11. When the team led by Aggarwal reached the spot, they found four employees lying unconscious and the entire premises enveloped by the noxious gas. There was no time. Without waiting for the specialised equipment like gas masks, the team of rescuers wrapped their faces with whatever clothing was available and edged their way towards the tanker from which the gas had been leaking. It was apparent that they would have to stem the leak before they could mount rescue operations.

Without even a thought for their safety, the team of rescuers struggled with the knob of the valve of the tanker and somehow managed to close it and then rushed to the aid of the unconscious employees whose eyes and lungs were badly affected by the gas. They were rushed to the nearby hospital. By then help had arrived from the neighbouring cities.

“There was still 25 metric tonnes of gas remaining in the tanker when we managed to close the valve. Had this leaked out, the result would have been devastating,” Amar told the ‘NCR Tribune’ recently. Their selfless work did not go unnoticed. The team members, including Amar, were awarded the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service.

Aggarwal who lives with his wife and four children would like to see tremendous improvement in the infrastructure so that it can match the growth of the city. “There is an urgent need to add to the existing strength of the personnel and vehicles and modernisation of the fire-fighting and rescue equipment,” he stressed.

All the same, Aggarwal has no regrets. He is one of those rare men who always wanted to become a fire brigade officer. He had cleared the police sub-inspector’s examination in 1971 but opted to join the fire service in Agra in 1972 as a second officer. The reason? There is more job satisfaction. And since then, he has traversed a long path of public service.



ISI agents’ arrested in Bulandshahar

The Bulandshahar police arrested two alleged ISI agents from Syana on Thursday night on the basis of inquiries made by the military intelligence.

The agents arrested from Mohalla Chaudhriyan have been interrogated by the police team which was joined late in the night by the superintendent of police and SSP Rajiv Krishen also.

Both the agents are alleged to have passed on some classified information pertaining to the deployment of the army units to a terrorist outfit in Kashmir.

According to sources, the military intelligence had come across some objectionable material being sent by them through a courier service in Syana. Both the suspects lived in Mohalla Chaudhriyan. One of them is a ‘doctor’ and runs a clinic. Both were nabbed by the army intelligence officials and the Kotwali Police. Senior police officers also started interrogating the duo in Syana after confirming that both were ISI agents. The IB officials from New Delhi also joined the police officers during the grilling. OC



CNG supply to improve by 2004
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
The supply of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to Delhi will increase after the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal being set up in Dahej, Gujarat, commences operations in December 2003.

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik today said the LNG terminal having the capacity to handle five million tonnes of LNG a year, when completed, would also supply the same to industries. “The CNG problem in Delhi,” he said, “for the transport sector will improve substantially in January 2004.”

Work on the LNG project was going as per schedule, he said. Chartered ships, costing over Rs 1,600 crore, would be ferrying the gas from Qatar.

There is a shortage of CNG in Delhi and the demand is expected to increase following he Supreme Court’s order to convert public transport vehicles to CNG mode. The Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the lone supplier of gas to Delhi, has also decided to expand its activities to meet the demand.

Cong ‘reneging’ on promises

The Leader of Opposition in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Mr Subhash Arya, said that the Congress had done nothing to introduce the Unit Area Method in the assessment of property tax and to provide maintenance and other civic services to the group housing societies as mentioned in its election manifesto.

He said that MCD0-led Congress in its manifesto had promised to simplify the property tax but in practice it did not seem serious to provide the benefit to the residents. The Congress was not taking opposition leaders in confidence before taking any decision. The Commissioner, Mr S. P. Aggarwal, was transferred just after the formation of the new committee of councillors after the corporation elections.

When new Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta, was appointed the Opposition Leader was not informed. Apart from this, the Opposition was also ignored when Bhagidari scheme was introduced in the corporation, Mr Subhash Arya said.

Gallery on maritime history

A completely refurbished gallery tracing the maritime history of India from the Indus Valley Civilisation to the modern times in a chronological order was inaugurated by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Madhvendra Singh and National Museum Director General R. D. Choudhry today.

The Maritime Heritage Gallery at the National Museum separately showcases some important periods like the Mughal era, the Maratha period and the British rule. The gallery was first opened in 1992 by then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao but has now been refurbished with new additions.

It has many new artefacts from the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai and from Kochi and Kolkata. A large number of invaluable maps and models of ships, both ancient and modern, are displayed in the gallery. The general viewer can also see films on the Navy.



Rewari loses a true-blue Gandhian and social activist
Nawal Kishore Rastogi

Rewari, May 24
Mr Prem Swarup Data, who virtually dominated the socio-political-commercial domains in the Rewari region for six long decades, is no more. Fate abruptly snatched him away after he sustained a head injury in a road accident here on May 18 at the age 75 when his sober guidance mingled with richness of experience was at its zenith.

In his death, the prestigious Public Education Board of Rewari (PEB) has lost a true patron while the Congress Party has lost a staunch Gandhian and a veteran freedom fighter, the Arya Samaj a dedicated activist and the reputed Data family and its friends a father figure.

His funeral here on Monday was attended by a large number of people, including representatives of the district administration. In every way, his funeral befitted that of a freedom fighter and a social worker of his stature.

To cap it all, instead of being immersed in the holy Ganga as per the age-old traditions of the Hindus, his ashes, in accordance with his own expressed wish, will now be scattered in their home-park as well as other surrounding places where trees will be planted to ensure a pollution-free environment which he loved dearly.

Born in a middle class family of noted freedom fighter Mahashay Bhagwan Das of Rewari, Prem Swarup plunged into the freedom struggle at the tender age of 16 and courted imprisonment during the Quit India Movement of August, 1942. He spent about 18 months in the Borstal Jail at Lahore.

Following the footsteps of his great father Mahashay Bhagwan Das, who was a true Gandhian and who spent about 10 years of his life in various jails during the freedom movement from 1924 to 1942, and also taking a cue from his elder brother Shanti Swarup Data, who too spent about five years in jails during the freedom struggle, Prem Swarup practically adopted the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Jai

Prakash Narain to which he faithfully and devoutly adhered till the last days of his life. Simultaneously, his deep-rooted association with the Congress Party, of which he was unanimously elected district president in 1972-73, also continued unabated till the end.

Imbued with a fervent spirit of social service and reformation like his father, Prem Swarup also joined the Arya Samaj at Rewari and later rose to be its president also by the dint of his constructive and dedicated services.

But the greatest work of his life, for which he will be remembered by posterity, lies in the establishment of Kishan Lal Public College as well as the Public Education Board here. He played a pivotal role in 1960s when he successfully persuaded Mrs Javitri Devi Sharma to make the initial donation of over Rs 1 lakh in the name of her late husband Kishan Lal for the college.

Then he, along with a host of other prominent citizens, virtually went with a begging bowl to Delhi, Bombay (now Mumbai) and Calcutta (now Kolkata) to collect the requisite funds which ensured the inception of Kishan Lal Public College here in 1964, thus opening the portals of higher education to the thousands of young boys and girls who earlier lacked the facility here. During the last four decades, KLP College has carved out a niche for itself in the domains of higher education not only in Haryana but in northern India as well.

His crusade for education did not end with KLP College but he, along with a few others, also became instrumental in the successive setting up of the Satish Public College of Education, Satish Public Senior Secondary School and Public Girls College of Rewari. Prior to this, he also made a major contribution in the establishment of the Public Education Board, , which has now been successfully running these four prestigious educational institutions.

It goes to his credit that he always kept himself aloof from the lure of any official position in the management. Apart from this, he also remained associated with the management of the local Hindu Senior Secondary School - one of the most reputed as well as oldest schools of the region.



Cafes gear up for online results
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 24
With barely a day left for the announcement of the CBSE class XII results, cyber cafes across the city are in a state of readiness to meet the demand for online results.

The CBSE has made arrangements for the declaration of results online. Students can access the CBSE website from 00: 01 hours onwards. For students who do not have access to the net, cyber cafes will come handy.

“I have already spoken to the neighbourhood cyber café owner and he has assured me that I will be the first one to log on. Of course, for this I will pay him a little extra,” said Kapil, a class XII student of Government Boys High School, Sarojini Nagar.

While most cafes will charge between Rs. 5 and Rs. 20, there are some who have made value addition to their services by offering a printout or allowing a user to call home.

“ I am going to charge Rs. 10, but if a person wants to access the site himself, then I will charge Rs. 5 more. Since the terminals are limited, I have told everybody to give their roll numbers in advance. If someone wants a printout, he will have to pay Rs. 30,” said Rajesh Kumar rattling off the rates like a perfect salesman.

The ingenious ones, who have neither computers at home nor wish to spend money at a café, have tied up with friends and relatives who will find out the results online. And that too without paying a dime.



Milk vendor ‘stoned’ to death in Silani Gate

Jhajjar, May 24
A milk vendor was reportedly stoned to death by eight persons near Silani Gate here today. According to information, the deceased, Paramjeet Gurjer had gone to the market late Thursday evening. However, he was found dead lying in a pool of blood outside the shop of one Ramphal in the morning. The scene at the spot indicated that his body was dragged after being killed. His face was completely disfigured. In his complaint to the police, Mukesh, brother of the deceased, identified the killers as Vijaypal, Raju, Khemchand, Sajjan, Tillu, Karamvir, Jaibeer and Dinna, all local residents. He told the police that a scuffle had occurred between his brother and Vijaypal which was settled later. However, Vijaypal and his brothers again threatened his brother of dire consequences but they had taken the threat lightly. The police have registered a case and arrested two persons in this connection.

Three assaulted

Three persons, Sanjiv Dahiya, his father Satbir Singh and mother Shakuntala, sustained injuries when they were allegedly attacked by the parents of the wife of Sanjiv Dahiya in Narinder Nagar area here on Thursday evening. According to a report, this followed a quarrel between Sanjiv Dahiya and his wife. The wife informed her parents about the incident and they reached the house and assaulted the members of her in-laws family. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised. They are stated to be out of danger.

Worker killed

Om Bir Tyagi, a worker, died on the spot when a box loaded with goods fell on him when he was unloading it from a truck on the premises of Gold Plus Glass Factory at Liwaspur village, 12 km from here, on Thursday night. According to a report, the victim belonged to Malikpur village. The police have sent the body for the post-mortem examination. Meanwhile, representatives of various trade unions today demanded immediate payment of Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the next of kith and kin of the deceased. In a press release, they also demanded a high-level probe into the case. OC



Police network has collapsed: Ex-minister
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 24
Claiming that the police network has virtually collapsed in the state, a former minister, Mr Krishan Murti Hooda, appealed to the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to reorganise the police force so as to instil a sense of security among the masses. The former minister alleged that the crime graph had displayed a steep rise during the past few months in the region. He said the incidents of robberies, thefts, purse/chain snatching, rapes etc were being reported from different parts of the state everyday.

Quoting the recent incidents of abduction of the three-year-old daughter of the district police chief of Fatehabad and the brutal murder of the Congress leader, Mr Amarjeet, in Faridabad on Thursday, the former minister said both the incidents were glaring examples of the police ‘inaction’. He questioned how the police officials could protect the people against crimes when they were incapable to guard the members of their own family.

The Congress leader alleged that the police functionaries, including the Director General of Police, Mr M. S. Malik, were misleading the Chief Minister and the masses.



Cooler climesSO, finally it has come. The blow has been struck. The bus, taxi and auto fares in Delhi have been increased. The common man, who depends on buses alone, will alone pay the price for ensuring “clean air”. But for the poor, it is the double-edged sword: he is being forced to pay high price and at the same time, he is being deprived of sufficient number of public buses, the only source of his travel for reaching the place of work and home.

If we analyse objectively the entire situation, we will see that the burden of enhanced bus fare will greatly upset the poor man’s family budget. As it is, he was finding it difficult to make both ends meet. The rise in the bus fare will only add insult to his injured existence, as it were. But who bothers for the poor today? His cries will soon end as insignificant cacophony in the boisterous din of laughter of the haves of society who do not depend on the public transport system alone. For them a decrease in the buses means having more and more opportunities for the luxury of travelling by their own vehicles. Thus, the haves of the society can easily manage to meet the shortage of public transport system by taking out their own vehicles and reach their destination rather more easily.

Isn’t it ironical that on the one hand we will have fewer number of public transport buses, at the same time we will be adding substantially to the overall number of vehicles plying on Delhi’s roads! How does it affect the dangerous level of poisonous vehicular emission? Obviously, it simply aggravates the already dangerous level of air pollution in Delhi. Thus, it is quite clear that by withdrawing diesel buses on the one hand and simultaneously adding more and more personal vehicles, we are creating a paradoxical situation in the fight against vehicular pollution in Delhi.

As the things stand, it will take long time to add more CNG buses and put in place adequate number of CNG-filling stations. In the intervening period it is the poor alone who will continue to suffer enormously. In the scorching heat he is being forced to travel in buses in which passengers, most of the time, are packed like sardines. In the changed scenario he has to leave his home early in the morning to reach his place of work in time.

And in the evening he reaches home late. Long wait at the bus stops and then travelling in over-crowded buses. All this has increased the level of his physical strain and mental stress for the common man. And add to it the burden of paying more. Won’t all this have adverse affect on his overall well-being?

We can see that the difficulties of the common man have increased manifolds. It is he alone who is suffering the most in this fight against air pollution in Delhi.

Those who can, must come to his help and provide him the much needed succour. The cup of his miseries was already full to the brim. His heart cries out for help. He is a fit case to be shown mercy by all concerned. Pray take note of his miseries too. He does not have the strength and means. He is unable to knock the right door. He can only cry in silence and look to the sky for help. The saving grace is that he has not lost his faith entirely. He still hopes that sooner or later the help will definitely come. His cries after all will not go in vain. He believes that those who can, will surely come to his rescue and give him his due. He is waiting for help.

Tish Malhotra, Sector 18, Rohini, Delhi

‘Quality education’

In order to justify exorbitant fees/funds and unwarranted yearly fee hikes, the slogan of importing “Quality Education” has been coined by most of the 50 prestigious private public schools, affiliated to the CBSE.

In this connection, it is pointed out that the CBSE-affiliated private public schools run by private parties (trusts/societies) or those runs by the state education departments, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Indian diplomatic missions and public sector undertakings etc, as defined in ‘chapter 1-(2) Definitions’ of CBSE Affiliation Bye-laws, follow the prescribed courses, approved by the CBSE and prepare students for class X and class XII exams of the Board.

It is, therefore not understood as to what is meant by “Quality Education”, by the so called prestigious unaided private public schools, when all categories of CBSE affiliated schools, prepare the students for the same examinations by following the same syllabus/prescribed courses.

From the above, it is evident that the plea of “Quality Education”, publicised by most of the CBSE-affiliated unaided private public schools, is only a ploy to hoodwink the parents to justify yearly fee hikes and for charging groundless heavy amounts under other `Misc’, heads and nomenclatures coined at their own level in utter disregard of clause “(1) and (3), chapter II of the affiliation bye-laws which read: II (1) Fees charges should be commensurate with the facilities provided by the institution. Fees should normally be charged under the heads prescribed by the Department of Education of State/U.T. for schools of different categories. No capitation fee or voluntary donations for gaining admission in the school or for any other purpose should be charged/compacted in the name of the school. In case of such malpractice, the Board may take drastic action leading to disaffiliation of the school II (3). The unaided schools should consult parents through parent’s representatives before revising the fees. The fee should not be revised during the mid-session.

O.P. Sharma, Faridabad

Antiques gather dust

It is shocking to learn that the priceless historical and cultural antiquities housed in the National Museum in Delhi are totally neglected. They have neither been properly assessed nor documented, resulting in heavy loss both in terms of money as well as in national’s culture legacy.

An officer of the museum pointed out to the boss on this lapse. In spite of being rewarded he was suspended. It is not desirable at all.

Sometime back, an exhibition was displayed in Nepal and Italy. One gilt box of worth thousand of rupees was missing but no action was taken. Who has taken it?

The guilty should be brought to book and the suspended officer be reinstated.

S. C Taneja, Rohtak

‘Somebody else did it’

Not long ago, we happened to travel from Mumbai to New Delhi by Rajdhani Express. We were three couples, all well past 60. It is said that as one enters the twilight zone and gets nearer the church, he goes farther away from the lord.

I hardly believed in the adage. On the contrary, I felt that as one got nearer the church, one got the truer picture of what God really stood for. Anyhow He blessed one and all.

But, no. My thinking proved wrong and the reality dawned on me by an incident that took place during the course of our journey.

It so happened that the waiter left six pots of tea in the thermos soon after the train had left Mumbai. All of us took tea with snacks served by the Western Railway catering service. The three of us appreciated their service, which saved us from the substandard stuff supplied by the unscrupulous vendors.

In the meantime, we heard a bang indicating breakage of a glass-like material. We saw a woman adjusting her saree while moving to toilet. The thermos fell and was broken to pieces as it was touched by the flowing saree. A hush followed. Some onlookers turned their eyes to our side of the cabin. The better half’s misdeed was covered up by the ‘worse half’ who swept off the glass pieces and shifted them to the other side of the berth.

The matter over, I was reminded of an earlier incident. That too pertained to an unbecoming behaviour of the oldsters taking along with them an old lady on a forged ticket. Respecting their age, they were let off by the authorities.

As we were planning to alight at New Delhi, we came to know that the waiter was still looking for the missing glass-kettle under the seats. The poor vendor was bemoaning: “either I pay Rs 20 for the loss or the ‘sahib’.” I felt a sense of indignation at his remark. What a fall! How a man stoops so low! I felt that I should better share the blame for abetting the act of omission and commission.

R L Pathak, New Delhi

Women’s wing

In continuation to the report and contents published for the information of the public, “Women’s wing soon at Gohana College” (NCR Tribune May 20th, 2002), I would like to inform, with some supplementary contents, that as soon as the message was received by Gohana College Principal Tek Chand Aggarwal during summer vacations, he (Mr Aggarwal) flashed a message of this good news, “Womens’ wing to all the lecturers of the college” telephonically.

As per message, all the lecturers `irrespective of the fact that they were enjoying their hols in Himachal Pradesh or in some other state reached the college to make arrangements for the inaugural ceremony with the help of district administration.

The Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Gohana, Mr Suraj Bhan Jhangra, provided the maximum help to the college on this occasion. Mr Dhanpat Singh, Commissioner Higher Education, Haryana, Chandigarh, too reached Gohana College to inspect the arrangements. He too took a meeting of the teaching staff.

While addressing the teaching community, the Commissioner said that individual teacher’s problem can be sorted out by adjusting him/her near their native place but not at the cost of students.

If the vacancies are in Gohana but the teacher belonging to Sirsa or some other place wants to be posted near their native place, where the vacancies are not available, this cannot happen at the cost of students.

He stressed the point that the student’s interest should be the main objective of the teachers. The teachers, including officers like IAS, should feel proud that they are well paid. The commissioner said that we should perform our duties sincerely. There are many unemployed who are more meritorious than us and want to work at any place with so many problems whereas we are in a system (i.e. employment), where we should be thankful to the Almighty, the commissioner added. The teachers endorsed the views of the commissioner.

Om Parkash Wadhwa, Lecturer, Govt. College, Gohana

‘Misrepresentation of facts’

THERE have been some press items alleging that the Ansals are selling property without the GNIDA sanction and that they are delaying handing over of property and execution of deeds in favour of their allottees as the Ansals have yet to pay a substantial part of the cost of land to the GNIDA and they do not hold a valid authority to sell these plots.

In this connection, the company considers it necessary that the facts should be made clear to the buyers. Accordingly, it is clarified that:

a) The total value of the project is about Rs 60 crore. It is, therefore, absolutely incorrect to state that our company has collected about Rs 500 crore from the customers of this project.

b) Whereas the company has paid an interest on deferred instalment facility it received from the GNIDA, it had offered interest-free payment plan to its customers and accordingly, it is incorrect to state that the company has charged interest on such instalment facility it offered to its customers.

c) The Ansals have already paid about 90% of the cost of land and have till date deposited over Rs 25 crore with the GNIDA.

d) Only a small portion of last instalment of land cost of about Rs 2 crore and some interest remain outstanding for payment to the GNIDA which will also be paid shortly.

e) The entire scheme of development has been carried out by the Ansals with proper sanctions from the GNIDA.

f) Almost all the development works on the project have been completed. Some of the works shall be completed simultaneously with habitation of colony as lots of breakage of roads/services takes place when the plot buyers start constructing their houses.

g) The sale deed in favour of our customers could not be executed due to certain unresolved matters with the GNIDA, which the company has decided to solve without any further delay. The company is reasonably hopeful to start the execution of sale deeds in favour of the customers in the next 45 to 60 days.

The company hopes that the aforesaid would clear the confusion caused in the minds of our esteemed buyers due to some misstatement of facts in the news articles, which have appeared recently.

Vikrant Singh, Addl vice-president (Marketing), Ansal Housing and Construction Ltd



7 kg heroin seized; truck driver conduit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24
The Narcotics Branch of the Delhi Police seized 7 kg of imported heroin with the arrest of Parvez Khan, a resident of Bareilly, today. He was arrested from ITO crossing where he was waiting for his client.

During interrogation, he disclosed that the heroin was brought by a truck driver from Amritsar. The contraband brought there by somebody from Lahore and was delivered to the truck driver. The police are trying to trace the truck driver and to find out the route through which narcotics was being smuggled into the country, the police said.

Auto driver held
The Delhi Police arrested an autorickshaw driver while he was trying to escape with the bag of a foreigner from Indira Gandhi International Airport on Thursday.

The incident occurred at around 8 pm. The victim, John Masih Gill, a Norwegian, was scheduled to board the aircraft of Australian airways to Norway. Masih Gill resided at Tilak Nagar and had already overstayed. So he was not allowed to board the flight by immigration officials at airport, the police said.

After being refused to board the aircraft, he came outside, hired an autorickshaw and put one of his bags in it. As soon as he turned to bring in his other luggage, the autorickshaw driver tried to drive away. The Norwegian raised an alarm and the police on duty arrested him.

Cash bag snatched
Two unidentified motorcycle-borne youths robbed Rs 1.5 lakh from Rakesh Aggarwal in Kalkaji on Thursday. The victim was going to deliver the money to somebody in Kalkaji. He was carrying the money in a bag. The youths came from behind on the motorcycle and snatched the bag and escaped. The police suspected the involvement of some insiders. A case of robbery has been registered in Kalkaji police station in South Delhi.

Minor fire
A minor fire broke out in an eatery in the Panchkuian Road area. Four fire fighters were pressed into service to douse the fire, which engulfed the neighbouring shop of novelty items. It was brought under control within a short time. The cause of the fire is not known. 



Five highway robbers arrested after encounter
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 24
With the arrest of five armed persons after an exchange of fire, the CIA staff of the Gohana police have busted a gang of highway robbers operating in this district for the past few months.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, told mediapersons here today that the arrested persons were Manoj and Rohtas alias Kuku of Rajpur village, Rajesh of Mehlana village, Jagmesh of Rajpur village and Surinder alias Sonu of Chhatehra Majra village. The police, he said, also seized four country-made pistols, five live cartridges, a knife and two motorcycles from their possession.

Giving details of the arrests, the SP said that a police party headed by Mr Satbir Singh and Mr Rahul Dev, both Sub-Inspectors, were on a routine patrol under the ‘Operation Catch’ when they received an information that the culprits were sitting at a deserted place near the Parshu Ram Ashram, Gohana and planning to commit a dacoity at a petrol pump. The police party swung into action and surrounded the place where the culprits were sitting. The police asked them to surrender but the culprits fired two shots at the police and the cops returned the fire. None was hurt in the firing. He disclosed that the culprits tried to escape but they were overpowered by the police.

The culprits, during interrogation, confessed to their involvement in cases of loot and snatching of motorcycles, one each at Panchi Road and Kami road respectively. The culprits, he said, had also fired shots at Mr Baldev, a salesman of the petrol pump near Larsauli village on May 2 and had snatched a Tata Sumo in April.

According to the SP, Surinder alias Sonu had also confessed to his involvement in a train dacoity in December last year at Sandal Kalan railway station and looted the passengers. The culprit, he said, had also threatened to kill one of his relatives in the Sultanpuri area of Delhi in March this year.

The SP disclosed that the police had registered a case against the culprits and further investigations were in progress.


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